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Uptown double date: Morningside Coffee & Biscuits + Schomburg Center

Schomburg Center and Morningside Coffee & Biscuits

Make plans with your carb-shunning friends another weekend. Now you'll be free to go to Morningside Coffee & Biscuits in Central Harlem for brunch. The menu is small, as is the seven-month-old restaurant, but full of tempting buttermilk biscuit sandwiches of the scrambled egg or fried chicken varieties. One choice you won't regret is the Fried Chicken & Cheese sandwich, accessorized with pickles and a tangy house sauce that the crunchy crust and slightly-too-crumbly biscuit soak right up.

Morningside Coffee & Biscuits

Once you've been properly fed and caffeinated, head three blocks down Malcolm X Boulevard to the NYPL's Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. After a major two-year renovation, the center is ready to be newly admired. Improvements include updates to the reading room, auditorium and rare book collection.

Schomburg shop

But the Schomburg isn't just for serious scholars. My favorite part of the center might be the gift shop, which reopened in a bright new space facing 135th Street. (I love the Dan Flavin-like pink neon that beckons through the glass at night.) Inside you'll find an impressive collection of books that in some way touch on black life and culture, from authors like Ta-Nehisi Coates, Questlove, and everyone in between. Sprinkled throughout are giftable t-shirts, jewelry, candles, and African baskets.

books at the Schomburg shop

After finding the perfect book, stroll through the ground-level galleries, one which has a very cool show called "Power in Print" that explores the Black Power movement through posters.

Black Power poster

Poster image: Emory Douglas/Artists Rights Society via the Schomburg Center

There's so much more to see and do at the Schomburg, including a fall open house called "Revival of Soul" being held this Thursday October 19, during which attendees can meet the librarians, enjoy refreshments, and explore the center more fully. For even more events, check the fall calendar on the Schomburg website.

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